The Belfast News Letter recently revealed (‘No minutes taken at SF minister’s key meeting,’ March 27) that the former Sinn Fein infrastructure minister, Chris Hazzard, asked civil servants not to attend meetings where crucial policy decisions were being made on the future of the Belfast Rapid Transit System (RTS).
Specifically, a decision had been made to allow for a trial run of private-hire taxi companies being allowed to use bus lanes that had been specifically built for the RTS.
However, no record of such meetings where these decisions had been taken exists, and so the public have been denied an opportunity to scrutinise the decision of a government minister.
This shady way of taking important decisions on the future of transport in our city is totally unacceptable, lacks transparency and should be condemned.
The Belfast Rapid Transit system has the potential to rejuvenate transport in our city, reduce congestion, lower levels of pollution and ultimately serve to benefit our local communities, economy and public health. It must be a public-first service, which demands a degree of transparency and accountability in local decision making.
We call on the former infrastructure minister to explain why he kept the public in the dark over this decision.
Anthony Flynn, Green Party rep for Balmoral, South Belfast